Here's a nugget from Barbara Corcoran's column in today's NY Daily News:
Q. I am looking to buy an apartment in New York within an hour's commute of Manhattan. I'm 25, make about $50,000 a year and want to be in a neighborhood with other young people. What can I afford and where should I look?
A. You should be able to buy a place for about $230,000 to $280,000. That depends on how much cash you have to put down.
Brooklyn Heights is most convenient, only a train stop away from Manhattan on the No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 trains, as well as the A, C, M, R and W trains. You can buy a studio co-op there without breaking your budget.
If you don't mind a longer commute, you'll get more space for your money further away — in Kensington or Clinton Hill, where studios cost $200K and 1BRs can be bought for $250K. But it's a one-hour train ride to midtown.